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Old 02-02-2006, 06:26 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Cedar
Posts: 3
M.O.C. #5302

My wife and I are planning to become full timers. We are presently searching for the perfect rig. Right now the Montana is our first choice. I would therefore be grateful for any imput any owners can provide as to realiabilty, satisfaction, ect. We are planning to burn all the bridges (sell our home and cars) so this is obviously a big decision. We like the 3685FL model with the living room up front instead of in the rear as most models have. A salesman informed us that this is not a good plan as it is top heavy over the hitch. Anyone have such a model and have you experience problems?
Thanks for any advice any of you can provide.
Larry and Marie from New Mexico
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:26 AM   #2
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M.O.C. #1043
Welcome Larry and Marie to the MOC,
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:44 AM   #3
Montana Master
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ore City Texas
Posts: 1,648
M.O.C. #2224
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Larry, our very first fifth wheel was a front living room model (Prowler Regal) which we bought used. The floor plan was one of the things that led us to get a fifth wheel in the first place. I still like that layout.

However, the 3685 is really a larger trailer than we prefer. We now have the 2955RL which seems to be the very smallest of the Montana models. We are very pleased with it and prefer the smaller model. But then, we never expect to be fulltimers. We do put a lot of miles on the trailer (a lot of them in New Mexico and Colorado).

If we were thinking of going full time, I'd really consider the front living room -- just being sure I had the tow vehicle that was appropriate.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:15 AM   #4
Montana Master
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Location: Cooper
Posts: 1,230
M.O.C. #3029
Welcome to the site. If you do a search there is quite a lengthy thread about the Montana weights and mostly limited to the 3400RL. If you look at this site it has the different trailer dry weights along with hitch weights.
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:23 AM   #5
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M.O.C. #2018
Welcome. There are some folks on the forum who have the front living room, so I'm sure they will be able to tell you the pros and cons of that model. There are plenty of full timers with different Montana models, and I'm sure they will share their experiences also. Good luck in your search for the rig that best suits your persohal needs.
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:23 AM   #6
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Welcome Larry & Marie to the MOC. I have the 3685FL like you want and I have had no problems towing it with a F350. I have an older one and the new Fords are better equipped to handle even more tongue weight. I do not full time but have made a couple week trip with the trailer to Mexico and back from Iowa. Really pulled great and I had no troubles pulling 70-75 down the interstates. It squats our p-up about 1.5 - 2 inches when loaded up for the trip to Mexico. The biggest thing for me was I lost a lot of outside storage going from our last trailer to the 3685. There is enough room for the basics. But if we had more folding chairs and bigger things they would have to find a home inside the Monty for travel. But overall we love the front living room and the way it separates out the kids area (around the TV/X-box), and the dining area where we can wit and carry on a conversation without the kids bothering us too much.
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Old 02-02-2006, 12:23 PM   #7
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Location: Conover
Posts: 995
M.O.C. #1832
As you can see we also have the 3685Fl and love it,basically for same reason as Fordzilla, kids are separated some what. We moved to Montana from Cougars 281 Bunk House model. We anted a higher end 5th wheel with big bunks but could not find one big enough for our 12 year old son who is big for his age. 12YOA and 6'1" 175lbs wears size 12 shoe, big boy big football player. Anyway bunks in most are fairly small, we use the jack sofas in the 3685 and they make a twin bed or little larger than that. We throw sleeping bags on bunks for the kids seems to work fine for us. My truck pulls it like a dream no problems at all, no squat either. Yes it's heavier one of the Montana but it's all in what you want. They are no longer producing this unit anymore from what I have been told, so what is ever out there is all there will be. Was told by Montana that slow mover so they changed it out for the 3500RE model.
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Old 02-02-2006, 12:24 PM   #8
Joyce H
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Clermont
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M.O.C. #266
First of all, welcome to the MOC forum. We are not full timers, but do live in our 3475RL almost eight months a year. The other four are spent in our mountain chalet in WV. This is our second Montana. Until last October we had a 3295RK. Needless to say we are very happy with the Montana. As to floor plans the best choice is the one that is the most suitable to your likes and needs. In reading through some of the topics on this forum I think you will see that 95% of the Montana owners are very happy with their units. I might also say we have had no major maintenance problems and Keystone is a wonderful company to stand behind their units and make sure the end customer is satisfied. Keep us posted on your decision.
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Old 02-02-2006, 12:59 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forum! As you can already tell, this is the place where you can get the answers to your questions. You have a wonderful adventure ahead of you. I would encourage you to consider the carrying capacity of whatever rig you end up buying. When you go on long trips, and moreso when you fulltime, you will be thankful for every inch of storage that your rig offers. Enjoy the hunt!
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Old 02-02-2006, 01:10 PM   #10
stiles watson
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Location: Leona
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Ok, it has all been said. So I just want to add my welcome to the others. This a great site with genteel folk to give you straight forward answers to your questions. Enjoy......
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Old 02-02-2006, 03:45 PM   #11
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Location: Big Sky
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M.O.C. #1104
The specifications for 2006 models is at this link.

There you will see there are 2 Montana models with a higher pinweight than the 3685FL. If you have the truck to handle the weight then you should not have a problem. There are several members here with that model and with the models with heavier pinweights.

Welcome aboard. Feel free to ask questions.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:41 PM   #12
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Location: Jacksonville
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M.O.C. #1745
Welcome to the forum. You can't make a mistake with a Montana. Knowing your needs and matching it with the right model will be difficult, as they are all beautiful. We are not going to go full time and we still enjoy going some places that we feel the smaller unit is better suited for us.

By the way, we knew someone named Larry Gore. Did you ever live in Oregon?
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:18 AM   #13
Montana Master
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Welcome to the forum. I really like my 3685FL. However, there are some differences to note. Such as one, when you stop for bathroom break you have to open the kitchen silde out. When you travel a lot this could be a deal breaker, two my wife feels there is a lack of storage space in this model. Three, since the kitchen area only opens on one side it can get very tight (space wise) quickly. Our next coach will be the 3295RK. Good luck on your selection.
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:04 PM   #14
Montana Fan
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Location: Monmouth
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M.O.C. #2570
We love our 3685. If you have not gotten your tow vehicle yet, you could choose from any of the Montana line.
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:00 AM   #15
Glenn and Lorraine
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Location: Clearwater
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M.O.C. #420
Hi Larry and Marie and Welcome to the MOC family.

You say you are looking for the "perfect rig". Well from my experience there is no rig more perfect than the Montana's. You can't go wrong. Whether it's an FL, RL, RK or the new RE they are all "perfect rigs".

As you can see by our signature we have a 2955RL. We did burn our bridges back in 2003 and have not looked back. The 2955RL is one of the shorter Montana's but it serves our full time lifestyle quite well.
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:37 AM   #16
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M.O.C. #4282
We researched for 2 years... the first year thinking we wanted a MH. We discovered the increased space, convenience and economy of a fifth wheel last year. After several dealerships, our search ended when my wife stepped into a 3400RL Montana.

We have done more research since and keep coming back to the Montana. It beats the competition, hands down.

Welcome to the family.
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Old 02-04-2006, 10:35 PM   #17
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M.O.C. #3125
We have been fulltiming in our 2980 for nearly 2 years. We saw the 3685FL and liked it, but didn't want quite that much length. We like the big back window, since in a lot of parks, that is the only window that is not facing other trailers, and we get a view. When we were looking at trailers, we would spend up to an hour in the trailer, getting the feel of it. Was it comfortable to sit and watch TV, where would we put things etc etc? That soon weeded out some of the layouts. It is all what suits you. Good Luck.
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Old 02-05-2006, 11:32 AM   #18
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Welcome folks!! Best wishes as you prepare for fulltiming.
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Old 02-05-2006, 11:58 AM   #19
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Location: King George
Posts: 688
M.O.C. #345
Welcome to the MOC. From now you must be confused as we were when starting out. Our first 5th wheel was a Terry, but sold it for a Montana after we went thru the Fleetwood factory. Our 2003 Montana was the forerunner of the 3485, the 3455. It had three slides and front living room. We thought that was the floor plan we wanted but found out the storage space was limited, and the living room was small. We also Had to open one slide to use the bathroom while traveling. We finally settled on a 3475 that fit our living needs. Were not full timers but have friends over occasionally. We went back to a 50th reunion in Kansas and had 14 people in our home away from home. We now pull it with a 2500HD GMC without any problem. We had a 1999 Ford F350 which also pulled it very well.
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Old 02-10-2006, 06:13 AM   #20
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Welcome aboard. Lots of people here have the 3685FL and some of those have been fulltiming for quite some time.

As for how the Montanas hold up, we've been fulltiming in our Montana for 3 years (as of next month) and it's doing just fine. This is our second Montana but the only one we've fulltimed in.

Match the truck to the weights, including the pinweight, and you'll be fine. The Montanas tow beautifully. Very well behaved and a joy to tow in my opinion. We've towed this one roughly 40,000 miles over all kinds of terrain and roads.

Good luck. Hope you enjoy the fulltiming. Like you, we sold it all, storing only what we could not bear to part with.
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